Pasta Bolognese; Balsamic Romaine Salad

By Ira

This is a great weekend meal as you need to simmer the Bolognese sauce for one hour. It also freezes very well. My whole family loves this dish, even my 5 year old boy who’s very picky. I also use a secret ingredient that’s not traditionally found in Bolognese sauce: Chipotle Chile Pepper (available in most supermarkets), or Ethiopian red pepper (berbere) (a bit harder to find). Just half a teaspoon gives it a very slight umami smoky taste, so slight that nobody notices it’s there, and one wonders where the richness comes from (but not rich enough or the kids will not eat it). You can increase this amount to 1 teaspoon if you like  a richer flavor.

Serve this with a simple romaine / baby spinach/ or any green salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon butter / oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 lb minced beef (90% lean)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chili powder
  • 1 28 oz can strained tomatoes (I used POMI 26.46 oz strained tomatoes)
  • 1 stick celery, broken in half and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb dried fettucine (or more if you’re serving more than 4 adults)

Note: buy grass fed beef if you can find it as it has higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.

In a large dutch oven or pan, heat the butter / oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes (do not brown it as it will change the flavor of the dish).

Add the garlic and carrots, and cook stirring for 30s.

Add the beef, and cook, stirring and breaking up the pieces, for 10 minutes,

until the beef is browned and you no longer see any pink.

Add the tomato paste, chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper.

Stir for 30s.

Add the tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups of water, celery, and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the lid leaving a small gap, and let it cook for one hour, stirring it every 10-15 minutes. When you stir, check the amount of water. If it seems like there isn’t enough, you can add more about 1/4 cup at a time. If, at the end, it’s too watery, just take the lid off, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. You can start boiling the water for the pasta about 15 minutes before the sauce is done.


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